Determination of the vertical electron-density profile in ionospheric tomography: Experimental results

C. N. Mitchell*, L. Kersley, J. A.T. Heaton, S. E. Pryse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


The reconstruction of the vertical electron-density profile is a fundamental problem in ionospheric tomography. Lack of near-horizontal ray paths limits the information available on the vertical profile, so that the resultant image of electron density is biased in a horizontal sense. The vertical profile is of great importance as it affects the authenticity of the entire tomographic image. A new method is described whereby the vertical profile is selected using relative total-electron-content measurements. The new reconstruction process has been developed from modelling studies. A range of background ionospheres, representing many possible peak heights, scale heights and electron densities are formed from a Chapman profile on the bottomside with a range of topside profiles. The iterative reconstruction process is performed on all of these background ionospheres and a numerical selection criterion employed to select the final image. The resulting tomographic images show excellent agreement in electron density when compared with independent verification provided by the EISCAT radar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-752
Number of pages6
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


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